Implementing your plan
In addition to ensuring everyone is competent to carry out their work safely, and that there is adequate supervision to make sure arrangements are followed, workplace precautions will be easier to implement if:
- risk control systems and management arrangements have been well designed
- those systems and arrangements recognise existing business practice and human capabilities and limitations
The key steps
- Decide on the preventive and protective measures needed and put them in place
- Provide the right tools and equipment to do the job and keep them maintained
- Train and instruct, to ensure everyone is competent to carry out their work
- Supervise to make sure that arrangements are followed
Documentation on health and safety should be functional and concise, with the emphasis on its effectiveness rather than sheer volume of paperwork.
Focusing too much on the formal documentation of a health and safety management system will distract you from addressing the human elements of its implementation - the focus becomes the process of the system itself rather than actually controlling risks.
In some cases, the law requires suitable records to be maintained, eg a record of risk assessments under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).
Implementing risk control plans
The control of relatively minor risks affecting all employees (such as ensuring passages and gangways remain free from obstruction) can be dealt with by a number of simply stated general rules.
The control of more hazardous activities may need more detailed risk control systems. The control of high-hazard activities may demand detailed workplace precautions and a risk control system that needs to be strictly followed, such as a permit-to-work system.
The type, frequency and depth of maintenance activities should reflect the extent and nature of the hazards and risks revealed by risk assessment. The balance of resources devoted to the various risk control systems will also reflect your risk profile.